Whether you’re trying to pay for job relocation or to cover the cost of a major home improvement as a veteran, a personal loan can give you the money you need, when you need it. And there are a number of veteran loans designed specifically for you. Here’s everything you need to know about your personal loan options and other financial resources.
- Lenders that work specifically with veterans
- Lenders that work with veterans with bad credit
- Lenders that work with veterans with good credit
- Other financial resources for veterans
Lenders that work specifically with veterans
There are two financial institutions that cater exclusively to servicemembers, military veterans, and their families.
If you’re a military service member, veteran, or spouse of a service member or veteran, or your parents were members of USAA, you may be eligible to become a USAA member, too. USAA is a full-service bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans.
Loans range from as little as $2,500 or over $25,000. If you sign up for automatic payments, you might qualify for lower rates with USAA. If approved for a loan, the loan can be disbursed into your bank account the very next day.
Navy Federal Credit Union
The Navy Federal Credit Union is a credit union, rather than a bank. Because credit unions tend to have less strict requirements than traditional banks, you’re more likely to qualify for a loan than with a bank, when you have less-than-stellar credit.
The Navy Federal Credit Union is open to veterans, active duty military members, Department of Defense civilian employees, and family members of current members. With Navy Federal Credit Union personal loans, they provide a loan amount up to $50,000 with loan terms as long as 60 months.
Lenders that work with veterans with bad credit
There are some lenders that work with borrowers with poor to fair credit. Both credit unions and online lenders may be a good fit for you in this case if your credit history isn’t the best.
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender, meaning individual investors pool their resources to offer loans to people like you. The application process is quick and easy, and you can find out if you’re approved for a loan within minutes.
LendingClub offers loans between $1,000 and $40,000, with up to five years to repay the loan. Best of all, the company’s minimum credit score is just 600. They offer rates between 6.95% - 35.89% APR.
Although Avant has higher interest rates than other lenders, it can still be a smart choice. They work with lower credit scores than many other lenders; so you might qualify for a loan with a score as low as 580. They offer loans up to $35,000 to pay for your needs, with up to five years to pay it back, and rates between 9.95% - 35.99% APR.
Lenders that work with veterans with good credit
If you have good to excellent credit, you should compare the best personal loan lenders to ensure you get the most favorable terms. You can work with an online lender and get the money you need in just a day or two.
LightStream offers several different types of personal loans, from loans for kitchen or bath remodeling jobs to debt consolidation loans. Their rates for car financing, for example, are pretty amazing. Depending on the type of loan you choose, and if you sign up for automatic payments, you might qualify for rates between 4.99% - 16.79% APR. And, if you qualify to borrow over $25,000, you could have up to 12 years to repay the loan.
SoFi is another great option for veterans with good credit. If you have a major expense coming up — such as a roof repair — and need access to a lot of cash quickly, SoFi may be for you. The company offers loans up to $100,000.
As a SoFi customer, you also get access to a suite of benefits that could be especially beneficial to veterans entering the civilian workforce, such as career coaching and networking events.
Other financial resources for veterans
Before submitting your loan application for a personal loan, it’s a good idea to exhaust all of your other options first so you don’t take on unnecessary debt. As a veteran, you may qualify for low-interest loans, grants, and other support.
Department of Veterans Affairs
If you’re a veteran and need money to pay for a major purchase or to consolidate debt, one option to consider is taking out a cash-out refinance VA loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). With a VA home loan, you can borrow against your home’s equity to handle large expenses. Because your home acts as collateral, you may be able to qualify for a much lower interest rate than if you took out an unsecured personal loan.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet and are in need of short-term financial assistance, like help with a monthly payment like your mortgage or utilities, contact 2-1-1. It’s a nationwide information and referral hotline that can connect you with local organizations that offer financial support for veterans.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
If you’re experiencing an unexpected financial difficulty as a result of deployment or military-related activities, you may be eligible for an Unmet Needs grant from the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. If you qualify, you could get a grant of $1,500 to handle necessary expenses. That’s a grant, not a loan, so it never needs to be repaid.
Applying for a loan as a veteran
Before applying for a personal loan as a veteran, make sure you shop around and compare prequalified rates from multiple personal loan lenders. By comparison shopping, you can ensure you get the best loan for your situation.